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5 Reasons Congress Should Be Deeply Ashamed About Jobs

U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman said, "Most people will agree that if you are an able-bodied adult without any kids you should find your way off food stamps."
That depends on whether those ways can be found. If Stutzman and other members of Congress believe it's that easy to find a job with a living wage, they're either ignorant of middle-class life or they are victims of free-market delusion. In either case, Congress, with its shameful response to the people who elected them, has not only made the job search more difficult for average Americans, but has also impeded the process.

Senate Republicans killed a proposed $447 billion jobs bill in 2011 that would have added about 2 million jobs to the economy. They  filibustered Nancy Pelosi's Prevention of Outsourcing Act, and temporarily  blocked the "Small Business Jobs Act." Most recently, only one member of Congress bothered to show up for a hearing on unemployment.

Congress' unwavering support of big business donors shows a callous disregard for the needs of the millions of Americans they're supposed to be representing. Here are five of the paralyzing consequences. [...]

3. They've allowed nearly half of America to go into debt.

Our young adults are not only underemployed, but the college graduates among them are dealing with an average of $26,600 in debt, which translates, according to  Demos, into $100,000 of lifetime wealth loss. Total student debt has quadrupled in just 10 years.

It goes beyond students to the population at large, many of whom survived the boom years by borrowing heavily on homes and credit cards. In 1983 the poorest  47 percent of America owned an average of $15,000 per family,  2.5 percent of the nation's wealth. By 2009 the poorest 47 percent of America, as a group, owned  zero percent of the nation's wealth. Their debt exceeds their assets. Yet Congress caters to too-big-to-fail financial institutions while too-little-to-matter American homeowners don't earn enough to stay out of debt.

Read the full report: At What Cost? How Student Debt Reduces Lifetime Wealth